For as long as I can remember, the new user restrictions have been 10 rep. However, as of March of 2010, the rep earned by a question upvote is only 5 points. This means that 2 people need to vote on a question to remove the restrictions, which can take a while on lower-traffic sites where there aren't as many philanthropic users. This leads to problems like the one evidenced here, and chat posts like this one.

The new user restrictions, in my understanding, are not a rep granted privilege, they're a basic spam prevention mechanisms. I'd like to think that our users can differentiate honest attempts to ask real questions that were hampered by the new user restrictions from spam, and grant that initial vote (or flag as spam) without too much trouble. The first hit is always free, etc.

How about dropping this requirement to 6 rep?

  • Before this question goes to -6 and disappears from the front page, would someone kindly explain to me why this is such a terrible idea? Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 1:41
  • 6
    I can't speak for the downvotes but the argument against that came to my mind was: "sure the rep for vote dropped, but the site population and view rate has exploded". Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 2:05
  • 8
    Two question upvotes... but a single answer upvote. That's way too fine a line, I'd rather the requirement go up. Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 3:17
  • In that specific case, you did recommend to the user that he/she could post it on an image hosting site. It could have been edited it in if the OP was willing... I know that's not always the case, but it seems as if users find a way to post their images externally. I think your intentions are good, I'm just not sure what would change as a result.
    – jonsca
    Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 4:37

2 Answers 2


I'll tell you why you're being downvoted. Compare these two

Your presentation of the problem & solution:
Upvotes used to be +10, but now they're +5. So two users are needed to push them over as opposed to one earlier (or for answers). To solve this, let's lower the threshold for new users. Yay?

Our interpretation of your question:
Users on electronics.se are not voting enough. Dude's asking to lower threshold and make it easier to spam rather than deal with problems in his site. Not cool.

True, on a lot of the bikeshed.se sites, you can ask anything and get 10 upvotes before the mod-hammer is brought out and on some of the more serious sites, upvotes are hard to come by. However, I must agree that it is your community that has a problem here, and the solution is not to fix the engine.

The problems I see here are two fold.

  1. People aren't editing enough
    If a new user cannot include a link or post an image (note that they can't display the images, but they can definitely upload the image and leave up to two image links in their post), then it's up to the community to swing by and edit the links to display the image. The user can always add additional links in the comments, if necessary.
  2. People aren't voting enough
    The underlying problem here is that people aren't voting enough. Here's an analogy:

If only 30% of the electorate in a country turn up for the polls, do you think the correct solution is a change in attitude of the society or a lowering of the voting age by an amendment to the laws?

I think that a change in voting behaviour is what's required here. Voter apathy is more harmful in the long run (see webapps.se), and can eventually lead to users getting frustrated at their contributions not being recognized. You should probably raise this issue on your meta site (if possible, with statistics). Link to this blog post if necessary.

Here is a similar post of mine on gardening.se, where I got the data using the API and shared the stats with the community. Voting certainly increased after that (it also happened to coincide with fall season in the northern hemisphere). Although a few users still account for a large number of the votes given out, I do see a lot of new users voting regularly. Here is the voting stats for a three month period since I wrote that post (16 Aug), and you can clearly see the increase*.

![enter image description here][1]

TLDR: Mods shouldn't be trying to canvas upvotes for a user regardless of the quality of the post, just so they can add a few links. You should share this voting apathy prevalent in EE with your community, instead of trying to workaround with fixes to the engine.

*For those wondering why the dip in late Sept – early Oct and then a second, smaller peak: the dip is most likely due to people winding up their gardening as the frost sets in the northern hemisphere and the second peak is due to it being spring time in the southern hemisphere. [1]: https://i.sstatic.net/iVT7om.png

  • 2
    Thanks for the answer. The voter turnout analogy was especially illuminating. We definitely do have a problem with getting sufficient upvotes; I'll bring this up on Meta. Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 4:43

I'm voting no. Maybe not on your site, but on some, people will upvote anything. Lowering it to one upvote would essentially get rid of it altogether IMHO.

I agree it's not ideal, but it cases where the user needs it, I think it's perfectly fine to post in chat as you have done.

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